November 2011

Dear friends,

When we talk about movement, we may think of diverse topics like monetary funds, changes in governments, people’s whereabouts and so on. Movement is essential to life and it is a definition of life itself. You all know that without breathing we can barely live. Breath is also movement as is its component sound, so linked to our way of breathing. On the topic of breath, I suggest to you to see the movie “Breath Made Visible”, a documentary about the life of American Dancer Anna Halprin. You will see Anna act out her life and I guarantee you will never forget her after watching her breathing, dancing and living no matter what the cost! (http://www.breathmadevisible.com)

Movement unquestionably involves action and more than that: it aims at a purpose. If you move, you do something specific and you should know why you are doing it. So, moving just like breathing is part of our living makeup and we are lost without it. When someone acts in a lazy attitude, we try and get that person to “pull up his or her socks”, to go out, to change their lifestyle, etc. In short: we want them to move to a different level, away from their inactivity. It seems to make us nervous when others are not moving.

What happens when we pray or meditate? Are we still and contemplative? What does that mean? Nobody would call a person immersed in prayer or meditation lazy or inactive. What happens to us in that approach? What do we move? Our hearts and minds are most likely putting thoughts and intentions together; we won’t appear idle to others in that state of intimacy with ourselves and finer, invisible forces. It is indeed peaceful to look at a gathering of praying monks, for example. Are these monks promoting peace with their actions? They are most certainly doing something! You get it: movement is in everything. I have heard people say that rocks in nature are alive. If that is true, they must be in some form of movement as well or perhaps even generate a movement. Watching a yogi can be a powerful experience in the same way. We become aware of his concentration. Theyogi’s breathing helps him to perform specific postures.

The need for movement in people is very different from one person to another. Some of us are always “on the go”, others are more sedentary. We have all learned that we cannot change people or their attitudes. The art of living therefore has to do with blending in with others when it’s convenient and/or possible. In that way interaction can occur and that is what life with others is all about. However communication and contact are so difficult because everyone is trying to do their best to fit in with everyone else. We regularly get stuck with these endeavours. We are endlessly juggling, adapting and changing our opinion of ourselves and others. It is just called life, isn’t it!

Many a frustration of ours is linked to fast or slow movement of others. Think of traffic on the roads: we all have stories to tell about reckless or hopeless people on our paths in life, be it in cars, shops, party rooms, offices, religious gatherings or families.

Our life experience has taught us that slow can mean fast and fast sometimes means slow. Taking time to think before we speak may inspire others to admire us as we may bring forward a statement that is relevant to a situation at hand. Think of a detective: rushing to conclusions without elaborating all the different options wouldn’t help much. Each scenario has to be pondered carefully. Our scientists make similar discoveries. Concentration is the key. Have you ever observed an athlete with his foot on the starting block? The tension we observe on his face and in his body may make him sprint faster as every move has been conceived in cautious reflection. By the time the runner starts to dart his mind is not controlling him anymore: he trusts his plan and just lets the body perform. He flows with it: his tension is now invested and the picture becomes one of synchronization.

What do we deduce from these deliberations?

Speed is not the key, thought is. Care is more important than action. Action is life and life is in us, it defines us. It is up to us how we use it: in harmony with our thinking or against us in haphazard actions.

Our story for this Letter is:

Fable of the Porcupine

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I t was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. This way, they covered and protected themselves; but, the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.

So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

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Therefore:

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

The Moral of the story!

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LEARN TO LOVE THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE

As a photo I have chosen this picture of diverging energies as seen in this symphony of colours. We have learned that different colours have different energies and move with dissimilar speeds when driven by light. Different rays, colours and gravities are combined in rainbows and affect each one of us in different ways. It is interesting to observe that we think of specific colours and even shades in colours as fitting certain moods in people (grey – dull, yellow – joy, red – lively, etc). Here, together in a beam, they look harmonious.

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In love and light and considerate action
Mariana